Leadership with Lucy: Listening to your Gut

Lucy Flores

Let’s face it. We are living in unprecedented times where access to inordinate amounts of information has never been easier, yet confusion and overall anxiety are also at an all-time high. How then, do you cut through the external and internal clutter to feel fully informed and clear about the decisions you have to make every day?

To be clear, I am very much still attempting to master the art of internal quiet. Outside of those who turn the art of meditation into a full-time life endeavor, I don’t know that anyone ever quite masters the practice of fully quieting and calming the mind. But, like with any practice, the more you do it the better you get at it.

Quieting the mind, however, isn’t really the point of my last leadership event, “Listening to your Gut.” In fact, for the intimate group of Luz Community Alpha Members who attended, they found out my version of a life hack when it comes to getting clear about your inner compass.

It’s quite simple. And it goes like this.

When a major life decision comes up that will have life implications down the road most of us do our due diligence. We learn about the opportunities, we weigh the pros and cons, we talk to our loved ones and trusted mentors and confidants, and we may even pick up a magic eight ball a few times, all in search of the definitive “right” answer.

We sit back down with ourselves, usually late at night when we’re trying to do anything but think, and ultimately come up short. Confused as ever. But as I explained to our group, this is when you actually do know the answer. You just haven’t developed the confidence or the courage to listen to it.

In those moments of turbulence, your brain has done all it can. It did its job in processing all the information you presented it with, but this is where you bid your brain adieu, and you say hello to your gut. If you’ve never honed your ability to listen to your gut, you’re not alone. It’s scary and foreign. After all, how can you know that it’s leading you in the right direction?

This is where you trust that your gut has never led you astray before. Everyone can recall at least once in their life when a gut instinct kept them safe. Something - by the way that’s your gut, AKA intuition - told them, don’t go down that street, don’t trust that person, buy that crypto, reach out to that person, and in some cases, following that gut instinct saved their lives.

This is the gut we’re listening to when we have a major decision to make. Don’t worry about quieting the mind for very long. Quiet it for just a second, think about the thing you’re deciding, and ask yourself, what is going to serve you best? What is going to align with your higher purpose?

The answer that instinctively comes is your answer. It may only appear for a fraction of a second but whatever appeared first is your answer. I have used this method for every single life decision I have ever made, and my gut has never led me astray.

That’s not to say I’ve never made mistakes. I have. And you know when mistakes were made? You guessed it. When I didn’t listen to my gut.

Lucy Flores is the co-founder and CEO of Luz Media. She leads a bi-weekly series “Leadership with Lucy” in the Luz Community with limited space for intimate and personalized mentorship and coaching.

a four image collage featuring queer actresses MJ Rodriguez, Aubrey Plaza, Tessa Thompson and Sara Ramirez

Amid the ongoing push towards equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the influence of public figures who identify as part of this community is undeniably crucial. They contribute to this narrative significantly, their impact transcending their professional boundaries to create safe spaces and ignite discussions that shatter stereotypes and nurture inclusivity. Today, we shine a spotlight on four prominent Latina trailblazers who are making their mark:

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian actress, has earned widespread recognition for her performances in films like "Creed" and "Thor: Ragnarok". Thompson is open about her bisexuality and uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry. Her role in "Thor: Ragnarok" is considered a landmark as Valkyrie is one of the first explicitly queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the explicitness of Valkyrie's bisexuality was contested in the cinematic release, Thompson has confirmed and embraced this aspect of the character. Thompson continues to champion diversity in media, raising the bar for representation in Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, is widely known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation". Plaza publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and she has since been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. By openly discussing her bisexuality, she has helped increase visibility and eliminate the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. Additionally, her portrayal of queer characters, like in the film "Happiest Season", provides much-needed representation and adds to the authenticity of LGBTQ+ characters in media.

Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American actress, singer, and activist, is best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy". Ramirez, who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Their portrayal of Dr. Torres, one of the longest-running queer characters on television, has significantly influenced the way bisexuality is understood and depicted in popular media. Off-screen, Ramirez is heavily involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy, serving on the board of organizations like True Colors United, which works to combat homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.

MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, has made history as a trailblazer for transgender individuals, particularly in the world of television. Rodriguez's groundbreaking role as Blanca Evangelista on "Pose" earned her critical acclaim and marked a significant milestone for trans representation on screen. Rodriguez is open about her identity as a trans woman, leveraging her platform to call attention to issues affecting the transgender community. Her achievements, both as an actress and activist, provide a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender individuals worldwide.

Through their activism and their work in the media, these prominent figures are not only changing the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights and representation but also shaping a more inclusive and accepting future. In honoring their contributions, we also acknowledge the progress still needed and the ongoing efforts of countless others in the fight for equality and acceptance.